Variable Optical Tap/Distributor
Original Publication Date: 1980-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-14
Movable liquid drops are used to produce variable coupling between permanently aligned multimode optical waveguides. Active (i.e., controllable) taps and signal distribution for fiber-optic networks are necessary in order to take full advantage of serial technology in computer networks. The devices which perform this function for coherent lightguide systems (via small and/or periodic perturbations to the refractive index) do not work well for multimode incoherent fiber systems. Previous multimode schemes have involved physically moving fibers from one position to another or the use of scanning mirror structures. Drawbacks to such schemes are the durability, reliability, and maintenance of alignment accuracy of these structures over their product life.